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From The President
With the release of Giving USA 2012 last week, you may wonder what this national data means for your organization. Not only can it provide insights into what’s happening in your nonprofit’s sector, the report can educate your board members and staff on important giving trends and development strategies.
For example, understanding that 88 percent of all giving last year came from individuals (when bequests and family foundations are included) helps reinforce just how critical cultivation and stewardship of individuals can be. If your nonprofit doesn’t already have a major gifts program to help ensure the financial stability of your nonprofit, you should establish one right away. Not sure where to start? Read the tips below.
The good news is that considering the slow economic recovery of the past couple years, Americans continue to give generously. Charitable donations were up 4 percent in 2011. It’s a modest increase, but it’s an increase nonetheless and, in today’s economy, numbers moving in a positive direction are cause to celebrate.
To learn more about what Giving USA 2012 means for nonprofits, I encourage you to tune in this Friday at 12:00 p.m. EDT to a webcast from the Hudson Institute. The program, titled “Giving USA 2012: Who Gave, How Much, and to Whom in 2011?” will feature our vice president, Wendy McGrady, along with Indiana University’s Patrick Rooney, The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Ruth McCambridge, and Tom Pollack of the Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics. Holly Hall of The Chronicle of Philanthropy will moderate. There’s also an overview of the report below and other timely guidance from our team. If we can help you in any other way, please let me know. And thanks for reading.
W. Keith Curtis, President
What Giving USA 2012 Tells Us: Remain Focused on Individuals
Keith Curtis. president of The Curtis Group and treasurer of Giving USA Foundation
“Giving USA 2012, the 57th consecutive Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2011,” was released Tuesday, June 19. The report is published by Giving USA Foundation and researched and written by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
U.S. charitable giving totaled $298.4 billion, a 4 percent increase, and for the second year an increase was seen following two years of declines. “The estimates for giving in 2011 are encouraging, but they demonstrate that charities still face ongoing challenges. In the past two years charitable giving has experienced its second slowest recovery following any recession since 1971,” says Patrick M. Rooney, Ph.D., executive director of The Center on Philanthropy.Read More
Donor Stewardship: More Important Than Ever
Erin Phillips, campaign consultant
As noted earlier, Giving USA 2012 finds a modest increase of 4 percent in total charitable contributions in the United States. And while we remain in a state of slow recovery, our country is still far and above the most charitable in the world and the overwhelming majority of this giving comes from individuals.
Based on this fact it is quite clear nonprofits should spend a majority of their time focusing on individual donors: both the cultivation of new potential donors and the stewardship of existing contributors. Remaining in constant communication with existing donors is integral to fundraising success. Remember, it is easier to keep existing donors than find new ones. Donors need to know their financial investments are making a difference to your nonprofit. Here are some tips for successful donor stewardship:Read More
Major Gifts Program: Ensuring Your Nonprofit's Financial Stability
Lauren B. Fenn, campaign consultant
For the last five years, The Curtis Group has partnered with the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to work annually with local nonprofits to build fundraising capacity. While we provide counsel and training for the grantees on a myriad of development components, a common focus is building a major gifts program. This is more important than ever as government and foundation funding, as well as corporate giving, remains unreliable. A nonprofit with a solid major gifts program ensures the financial stability of its organization during these times of economic uncertainty.
In the simplest of terms board members and senior staff should prioritize major gift fundraising as a top organizational goal. Below are a few ways we recommend you do this:Read More
The Curtis Group will continue our work with Broadwater Academy providing fundraising counsel for the school’s capital campaign.
Each summer we deliver a series of presentations to a wide variety of audiences on the results of Giving USA. As the only Virginia-based member of North America’s 40-member Giving Institute, we are proud to present the findings and our analysis of the longest-running, comprehensive study of its kind. Our presentation summarizes the results and provides strategic recommendations to nonprofits and their boards.
In addition to the presentations already delivered earlier this month, Keith Curtis and Wendy McGrady will be featured at the following events.
June 29 Washington, DC: Hudson Institute. This event will be simulcast live from the Hudson Institute’s website. You are invited to tune in from 12-2pm ET!
August 22 Annapolis, MD: AFP-Maryland
August 23 Richmond, VA: AFP-Central
September 12 Elizabeth City, VA: Chamber of Commerce
September 30-October 2 Washington, DC: Blackbaud Conference for Nonprofits 2012
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